The Snow Is Here, Philly: The Latest on Roads, Public Transit, and More

Here’s what you need to know as we head into the evening commute.


Washington Square. Photo by Claire Sasko

This post will be updated frequently throughout the day. Last update: 4 p.m.

This morning, a beautiful white powder was falling upon the Philadelphia region. But forecasters said the gentle conditions wouldn’t last long, and it looks like they’re right. The snow has ended—for the most part—and we’re likely in for sleet, freezing rain and then rain as the evening progresses.

CBS3 reported nearly 3 inches of snow in Center City on Wednesday afternoon. Expect a potential light glazing of ice later this evening, especially if we endure a wintry mix before precipitation changes to just rain. The NWS warns that sleet and freezing rain “following the initial period of snow may exacerbate already hazardous travel conditions” during the evening commute and afterward.

We’re in for more rain (as well as significantly higher temperatures) on Thursday.

In the meantime, here’s the latest on road conditions, public transportation and more on Wednesday.

Road Conditions

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and the Pennsylvania Turnpike implemented phased highway restrictions on Wednesday.

At noon, PennDOT and the PA Turnpike began prohibiting the following vehicles on I-76 from New Stanton to Philadelphia, as well as on all of I-676, I-276 and I-476: large combination vehicles (double trailers); tractors hauling empty trailers; trailers pulled by motorcycles, passenger vehicles, pickup trucks or SUVs; motorcycles; and all recreational vehicles and RVs.

For a full list of road closures and restrictions, visit And to report an accident or emergency on the PA Turnpike, dial *11 on your cellphone.

A reminder: All vehicles should be fully clear of ice and snow before you travel. Be sure to use caution around snow-removal equipment and plow trucks.

Public Transportation


Nine Regional Rail trains are operating on an “early exit” scheduled on Wednesday, meaning evening service has been moved to midday to accommodate commuters leaving early. Affected routes include: Lansdale/Doylestown, Manayunk/Norristown, Media/Elwyn, Paoli/Thorndale, Trenton, Warminster, West Trenton and Wilmington/Newark. For more information click here.

The Elwyn Regional Rail route’s single track operations are cancelled on Wednesday. Passengers are being asked to board all trains at normal boarding locations.

The following bus routes are being detoured on Wednesday:

For the latest SEPTA updates, follow @SEPTA on Twitter or check System Status online.


Amtrak has altered train service due to the impending weather conditions. Trains 647 and 651 will terminate in Philadelphia, while train 656 will originate in Philadelphia, and train 620 is cancelled. And no alternate transportation will be provided.

Northeast Corridor service between Boston and Washington, D.C., will operate as scheduled, for now.

Be sure to check your train status on before departing for the station. For the latest information on service disruptions, follow @AmtrakNECAlters on Twitter. You can also find refund information here.

PHL Airport

Cancellations and delays are being reported at the Philadelphia International Airport. Be sure to check your flight status with your airline before leaving.


All Philadelphia public and Archdiocesan schools are closed on Wednesday. For a full list of local school closures, visit 6ABC.

Many local colleges and universities are closed for the day. That includes: Temple University, the University of Pennsylvania, Saint Joseph’s University, Villanova University, the Community College of Philadelphia, Drexel University, La Salle University, University of the Arts, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and Thomas Jefferson University.

Municipal Offices, Courts and Prison

All city offices closed at 1 p.m. on Wednesday. Philadelphia courts are closed. And all inmate visits are cancelled Wednesday for all jails in Philadelphia County.

Trash and Recycling

Trash and recycling collections are on a holiday schedule. Residents should set out trash at its normal location one day behind regular schedule for pick up. Delays are expected as trucks navigate the inclement weather.

Code Blue

The city has declared a Code Blue emergency warning on Wednesday, meaning temperatures are dangerously low — and deadly for anyone attempting to sleep on the street.

During a Code Blue, the city offers extra beds available within its emergency housing network, and outreach teams work around the clock. If you’re worried about someone sleeping in the cold, you can call the city’s outreach hotline at 215-232-1984. To contact the city’s Office of Homeless Services, call 215-686-7175.